Finally, the RLCS regional events have come to a close. There was a lot of hype coming into the season for all of the regions, but North America stood out in particular. With the influx of players from other regions joining NA, most notably ApparentlyJack, Noly, Crr and the entire Furia roster, people looked towards the northwestern side of the globe for their international flavor. It was a chaotic ride, but the end result wasn’t as crazy as you might think.
However, let’s start off with the crazy result. Gen.G Mobil1 Racing came in and dominated this split. This is an entirely brand new roster composed of a European 1v1 mega-talent ApparentlyJack, a long-time European professional in Noly, and a young mechanical player in Chronic. Despite Noly saying on Rizzo’s Chalked Cast podcast that he hadn’t heard of Chronic before deciding to move to NA, the team ended up having some of the best chemistry in the world. This chemistry, combined with the help of their coach, Allushin, led to an amazing set of results for the Fall Split. They made all three north american grand finals, winning one of them, and qualified for Rotterdam as the number one seed in the region. Their organized playstyle, along with “AppJack'' being the best player in North America, will be leaving the team and the org very satisfied with the split as a whole. The next step for them is simply translating their online play onto LAN.
The next thing we learned is that changing regions is not easy. A lot of people had high hopes for the Brazilian Furia roster of CaioTG1, Caard, and Yanxnz when their move to the USA was
leaked announced. After their semi finals run in Fort Worth, which included one of the greatest series ever when they beat Moist, a lot of people thought they would be a team guaranteed to make the major, even in their new region. Unfortunately, things did not go to plan. They finished the split tied for 7th place in the standings, with their best result being their two quarter final appearances in the first two events. It seems that because teams scrim Furia regularly now, and there's more scrim/tournament tape on them after last season, the surprise factor that they once had at LANs are now gone. Teams have gotten used to their playstyle, and having to compete in arguably the hardest region week in and week out proved to be too much for Furia. Their split also ends with Shift reporting that Furia are set to part ways with Caio, and that they’re eyeing up NRG not so juicy Justin.
Speaking of NRG, they also underperformed in this split. Finishing sixth place in the standings means that the most storied org in the scene missed out on the Fall Major by only one spot. This makes the prospect of them completely disbanding as a roster, which some people have called for them to do, not practical by any means. Amassing 17 points in the fall split is nothing to scoff at, as they were the “best of the rest” results wise for NA. Much of their large fanbase is calling for a player change, as it seems dropping their former coach, Sizz, after the first regional did not bode well for them. NRG now seem stuck, because no one truly knows who has to be dropped on the roster, or if they just need to take a long break from the game. The organization surely is still happy in terms of the content side of things, with all three of them pulling high streaming numbers, as well as Squishy still uploading youtube videos every other day for 7 years now. We say every split, for what feels like forever now, that Dazerin’s beloved team needs to make a change. Will they? Only time will tell.
NRG wasn’t the only hyped North American roster that underachieved. Optic Gaming can share much of the same sentiments in terms of performance. The Green Wall, who’s new, highly mechanical roster composed of Ayyjayy, Retals and Majicbear, finished the split tied for 7th place in the standings. On paper, this is a team that can do some major damage, and their talent warrants a much higher finish than just 5th-8th in a given regional. It seems that they weren’t able to do what Gen.G did with their new roster, which is to create a play style that suits all three players. Majicbear seems forced to play a lot of defense on Optic, due to both Retal’s and Ayyjayy’s aggression on the pitch. Majic is best known for his mechanical prowess when on the ball, so this style might be making him more uncomfortable when on the field. Optic’s split shows us that you can’t just take three technically gifted players and throw them together on a team for immediate results. It makes what Gen.G accomplished with their new roster all the more impressive. Despite this, there is still a lot of hope for Optic as they get more experienced with each other. I still believe that the expectation for this roster going into the next split is to make the major. The talent is just too prevalent to say otherwise. And yes, Ayyjayy is still cracked out of his mind.
Here’s what I find funny about this split. If you didn’t know about the influx of players from other regions, and I told you that 5 of the top 6 teams at the end of the split are Faze, Version1, Spacestation, NRG and G2, you’d think “yeah, that's a very standard, boring, run of the mill split for NA.” This split was anything but that. New rosters plus new talent, all combined with every regional feeling like an international LAN, meant that North America was a joy to watch every other week. Also, I think we can all agree that they definitely sent their five best teams to The Netherlands. As always, thanks for reading! God bless.
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